Advice required for a portable tube amp for my iPhone to DT990/600 at work

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by gtdaqua, Sep 14, 2018.
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Just a Tube Amp or a Tube Preamp + SS Amp combo for mobile devices? (audio quality-wise only)

  1. Single Tube Amp

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  2. Tube Preamp + Solid State Amp

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  1. gtdaqua
    I got my special edition Beyerdynamic DT990/600 Ohm two weeks ago and became a fan of Tidal HIFI ever since. I have never been an 'avid' music listener but I am getting there because of these two. My iPhone drives the HPs ok but I could use an amp at my workplace. At home, my Denon AVR-S510BT does a good job with music, movies etc.

    I need a compact portable tube-based amp (I read reviews that tube amps really bring the good sound out compared to SS) at my workplace that is not too huge. I have also read that tube preamp+SS amp combo is considered better sometimes. My budge is around $150. My source is Tidal HIFI on my iPhone 8.

    I am already looking at Tube Amp: Nobsound 6N3 -> http://www.doukaudio.com/nobsound-6...r-stereo-earphone-amp-hi-fi-preamp_p0064.html and tube preamp: http://www.doukaudio.com/nobsound-n...-audio-pre-amplifier-trebleampbass_p0016.html

    I thought it would be best to ask you guys for expert advice on my first tube amp or tube-preamp+SS amp combo.

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  2. kukkurovaca
    Just for claritifaction, are you looking for a portable amp or just a small amp? (Portable usually means it has its own battery.)
     
  3. kukkurovaca
    Also, the really inexpensive options (as well as plenty of more expensive ones) are usually hybrids, meaning that they have a tube section as well as a solid state section. So, I don't know if you would really need to fuss with the tube preamp combo setup.

    I haven't listened to any of the relevant options in this price range, but some other popular options you might look into: Bravo Ocean, the entry level Little Dots, Garage 1217 Project Starlight.

    Those are non-portable. The only portable tube amp in your price range I'm aware of that gets much love is the Little Bear B4. But that is'nt supposed to be plugged into power at the same time it's playing, so probably not what you're looking for in terms of a work desk solution.

    Should also add that tubes definitely aren't a requirement for good amplification, and if you're going based on recommendations for certain types of tube amp (SET, OTL) for use with your high impedance headphones, you won't necessarily get the same result with a hybird amp. That's not to say the hybrid amp won't work great, though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  4. gtdaqua
    I think I posted in the wrong area. I am sorry about this. I meant a small amp and definitely not a battery-powered one.
     
  5. gtdaqua
    Thanks for that. Like I said just above, I do not need a battery-powered amp. I am just looking for a small-in-size amp. And because the source is an iPhone, the amp needs to have an 3.5mm input. So, the Bravo Ocean etc. doesn't help.
     

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